With the resignation of Mr. Gove from the office of Education Secretary yesterday, there came a flood of joy from teachers and students, as well as an interview of our beloved Head, Lord of all the Beasts of the Earth and Fish of the Sea, Jacques Szhineonyoucrazydiamondkowski, on Channel 4 news, taking place live outside the end of year Performing Arts Concert. In the interview, as a Head that has challenged Señor Gove (to no avail, might we add) along with many other Heads, Mr. Szmilelikeyoumeanitkowski made some very salient points about Michael Gove's reign of terror, discussed below, as well as some slightly hypocritical points that we here at the Trash picked up on.
First let us praise the Head for what he did say against Mr. Gove, however late it came in his career as Education Secretary. The Head said that in his career Mr. Gove had been "meddling in a fairly ad-hoc and arbitrary way in the running of schools", and that he had a "singular view of what's valuable in education [...] and what subjects are worthwhile". The Head also attacked the reforms Gove had made, saying they were "very difficult to implement".
This is all fine, but then the Head went on to say of the event he was outside that "the performing arts festival we've got here is actually a statement from our school's point of view that we value creativity and we value arts very, very strongly". Now, that may be partially true as, yes, many of Gove's policies penalised the arts in favour of the core subjects, and it is true, that the school holds the arts in high regard, but the Head certainly doesn't. We have said in various articles across the time we have been posting that the arts at Hampstead lack a great deal of funds for equipment and events, this being the first in over seven years for a Performing Arts festival to take place, with a budget attached to it. Also, we have had reports that the Head has, in the past, allegedly try to remove at least three Performing Arts teachers, as he didn't see them as necessary assets. It is an insult to students that he is happy to be interviewed through the first half of the concert, despite standing up at the end and saying he was happy to had seen the entire performance, and an insult to teachers, especially those of the Performing Arts variety, that he is the one to stand up at the end to make a speech and give thanks for attending, as if he personally organised the event. It is unfortunate that a good statement is otherwise tainted, but the Head does not care about Performing Arts; only when it suits him and gains him gratitude.
He backed up his previous point by saying of the Arts Industry that "it is a powerhouse of our economy and has been marginalised by Mr. Goves reforms". However, another fly in the ointment came towards the end of the interview; when asked by Channel 4's Prize Winner for Feigning Interest what had been the problem with Gove, what he had done or how he had done it, Jacques Szabbathbloodysabbathkowski answered "the way he did things", which, we are sure, would offend many people who believe that many of Mr. Gove's reforms were regressive as well as badly handled, rather than progressive. After all, he is a Conservative, which we suspect the Head is after a statement like that (or maybe he was just trying to protect his Public Sector paycheck).
In spite of this, the Head ended the interview with the notion that the next year be "a period of stability and consultation and consolidation", which sounds awfully like a plenary.
To see the full interview, click the link here.